Remember in 2022 when Louisiana lawmakers wanted to install speed cameras on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge to improve safety on the interstate? Well, you can likely go ahead and scratch that plan.

Senate Bill 379, which basically repeals the 2022 law that doubled speeding fines on the Basin Bridge and allowed the state to install cameras, was passed by the State House on Monday and now heads to Governor Jeff Landry's desk.

But will Gov. Landry sign the bill?

According to Kate Kelly, a spokesperson for Landry, she could not confirm whether the governor will sign the bill. She said the staff would be reviewing it first.

However, it sure seems that his signature is inevitable. The House passed SB 379 in a 92-0 vote after the Senate passed it with a 38-0 vote.

What exactly did the 2022 law entail?

Two years ago, the bill that was passed established the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge as a Highway Safety Corridor. It called for DOTD to install camera safety devices to monitor vehicles traveling in excess of the posted speed limit and to issue warnings and citations.

Additionally, they were to install "your speed" feedback signs to warn and educate motorists.

Speed Limit 60 Road Sign

Criticism of the bill

The 2022 bill was led by former Senate President Page Cortez. The legislation allowed the state to contract with a third-party vendor to monitor the cameras.

Cortez was criticized for this aspect of the bill, with fellow lawmakers saying they believe the law is about "revenue generation for a private company."

Stack of 00 bills
Tomislav Forgo

Status Quo plan

In a statement, bill sponsors, Sen. Blake Miguez (R-New Iberia) and Sen. Caleb Kleinpeter (R-Port Allen) thanked their colleagues for "trusting our sheriff and state law enforcement agencies to enforce speeding, identify unsafe vehicles and deter crime on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge."

The sheriffs in St. Martin and Iberville parishes, where the bridge is located, have supported taking the cameras off the table. They've told lawmakers that live officers are the best solution to speeding on the bridge and they've amped up enforcement in recent years along the bridge.

However, had the cameras moved forward, the sheriffs still could have continued their regular enforcement activities.

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